It is difficult to explain what of the characteristics was so special about Scruffy. From how he would lay on a couch on his back with his paws in the air. The way he would turn his head to listen when you spoke to him. Or the inquisitive nature he would approach young and old alike. Even the way he would stand completely still on the grass, in the hope that some bird might not notice him and land within striking distance.
It seems like nothing he did was special in any way, yet he did everything in a special way.
People make fun and say that they wish to be the person their pet think they are. I believe Edward Hoagland pointed out that to enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. It is almost with certainty that you will outlive your pets. Yet it is in the life lessons these creatures leave behind that their true value to us as humans surface.
Below is Scruffy's hack to happiness and life lessons that I will carry with me into the future:
- Teaching me to pull the world along with your enthusiasm to explorer. Scruffy would always pull on the end of his leash, eager to find out what might be around the next corner.
- If it's not your style, don't rock it. This is an understatement, but he would hate putting a jersey on, no matter how cold. It just wasn't authentic to him to cover up who he already was. No cover-ups, perfect in his imperfection.
If it's not your style, don't rock it.
- To do crazy things, even if it means running for your life. You never know if you can catch a Zebra or not, but don't say you can't do anything without at least trying first.
There are so many things our pets do during their short lifespan that at the time would aggravate pet owners. And yet it was the late Robin William who said in Goodwill Hunting, we call these things imperfections, but they really are the good stuff. As the light in Scruffy's hart went out, his soul will keep on burning bright through the good stuff he left behind.